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CIMS Certification
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ISSA Cleaning Industry Management Standard (CIMS)What Is CIMS Certification?
CIMS applies to management, operations, performance systems, and processes. Compliance with the Standard demonstrates an organization is structured to deliver consistent, quality services that are designed to meet the customer's needs and expectations. It sets forth processes, procedures, and supporting documentation proven to be characteristic of customer-driven organizations. CIMS is nonprescriptive and each individual organization has the flexibility to choose the most effective ways in which to meet its requirements.

The Standard is divided into six areas of management best practices:

  • Quality systems
  • Service delivery
  • Human resources
  • Health, safety, and environmental stewardship
  • Management commitment
  • Green Building (GB)
Free CIMS Resources
The CIMS Standard
Certification Application
CIMS Brochure (PDF)
Self-Assessment Compliance Checklist (PDF)
CIMS LinkedIn Group
CIMS Webinar

CIMS applies to an organization in its entirety, rather than to a specific individual, process or product, and without respect to the size of the organization. Find out how certification applies to multiple-location service organizations.

Save Money
Ultimately, the CIMS program is all about saving money. By implementing an effective management framework and green cleaning program, organizations are positioned to improve operational efficiency and better serve their customers, which naturally leads to cost savings. Click here to learn how one CIMS-certified organization has enjoyed more than US$400,000 in annual savings as a result of their certification efforts.

How to Get CIMS Certified
To achieve CIMS certification, a facility service provider organization must submit written documentation supporting their compliance with the requirements described in the five key sections of the Standard. To achieve certification, an organization must meet 100 percent of the mandatory elements and 60 percent of the recommended elements, per section.

An ISSA-accredited third-party assessor then conducts an on-site review of the applicant's systems, processes, and documentation to ensure compliance, as well as visits individual customer accounts or locations to ensure that the organization's activities are consistent with the documented systems and processes. Access a detailed overview of the CIMS certification process (PDF).

Find out more about the fees for CIMS certification.

Why Should My Organization Pursue CIMS Certification?

CIMS has given us such an outstanding framework with which to make decisions about our business as we grow. I've heard of certification programs described as burdens, but CIMS has proven to be a very useful tool that helps us improve our business and operate more effectively.

Janice Stewart
Castle Keepers of Charleston, Inc.
Charleston, SC

In general, CIMS Certification should lead to improved efficiency, greater customer satisfaction, and an overall better quality of service regardless of whether your organization  is a building service contractor or performs cleaning in-house.

Building Service Contractors
CIMS presents a terrific opportunity for a building service contractor to validate its commitment to quality and customer satisfaction. Only a CIMS-certified organization can say that an independent third party has actually performed an assessment of their systems, processes, and policies and agreed that they have instituted the management framework required by CIMS and demanded by those individuals responsible for selecting a cleaning service provider


I’m looking forward to our new contract and know that the selection process will go more smoothly now that CIMS certification can provide me with confidence in the quality of the vendor. I’ll certainly be happy to have my current vendor win the job again, but I know regardless who wins, they will meet the established industry standard.

Steve Sullivan
Richland County Public Library
Columbia, SC

CIMS has received an official endorsement from the International Facility Management Association (IFMA), who has recognized the program as a powerful tool their members can use to pre-qualify contractors. As a result, more and more facility managers, purchasing professionals and others are citing CIMS in their requests for proposal and cleaning specifications, including the Air National Guard Readiness Center at Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland, Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, State Farm Insurance, and others who have made the decision that only CIMS-certified organizations are eligible to be awarded a cleaning service contract.

In-House Service Providers
As the industry continues to undergo a shift in focus from "cleaning for appearance" to "cleaning for health," cleaning is becoming recognized as a primary weapon in the fight against emerging public health threats. Simply stated, an in-house organization cannot afford to take a chance when it comes to cleanliness and good sanitation!

By complying with the cornerstone elements of CIMS, an in-house cleaning department will be uniquely prepared to improve the efficiency of its services, advance the organizational master plan, achieve budgetary support in the board room, and improve the overall performance of their cleaning service. And because CIMS is a management framework that is based on universally-accepted management principles, the Standard sets forth a sustainable business model that can apply to other services with only slight adjustments.

I found the CIMS process to be a great learning opportunity and overall an incredible journey for WORK Inc. I would highly recommend CIMS and CIMS-GB to other organizations. While it is work, once the assessment is complete it sets the planning process in motion for continuous improvement. For WORK Inc., it fits nicely with our strategic planning and quality work environment processes moving into the future.

Tami Beane

Dorchester, MA

Created by the Industry, for the Industry
The Standard was created through a true consensus-based process that brought together representatives of the cleaning, facilities management, and purchasing communities. In total, more than 100,000 constituents were represented in the process, which included full peer review and was administered by ISSA and the American Institute for Cleaning Sciences (AICS).

Application, Certification and Assessment Fees
All fees are in U.S. dollars:

  • Application Fee: $500
  • Certification Fee: $995 (ISSA Member), $1,695 (Nonmember)
  • Assessment Fees: $1,500 per assessment day*

*The length of an assessment depends on the size and scope of the organization.

Applicants will also be responsible for reasonable assessor expenses. Download the CIMS Fee Payment Policy (PDF).